Study Highlights Transit-Oriented Development

Once upon a time, trolley lines built amusement parks at the end of their lines to encourage ridership.  The modern-day equivalent may be the “Transit Village”: development at transit hubs, where transit users can live, work, or shop just steps from their train or bus.  A report due out on September 24 by New Jersey Future assesses development opportunities at New Jersey transit hubs, according to reporting by Mike Frassinelli in the Star-Ledger (September 22).

Recently, NJ Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson attended a ceremony to name an old railroad town (Dunellen in Middlesex County, on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line) the state’s 26th Transit Village, a community built around a transit hub.  The forthcoming report from New Jersey Future has been 3-1/2 years in progress under the group’s research director, Tim Evans.  Some interesting statistics dot the report:

  • the highest population densities in the state can be found in Hoboken near Hoboken Terminal and the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail;
  • several Newark Light Rail stations are in areas where less than 1/3 of households have a vehicle;
  • stations with the highest home values include Millburn, Summit, and Peapack on the Morris & Essex Lines; and, unbelievably to some motorists,
  • there are NJT Rail stations where less than 1/3 of parking spaces are typically occupied (Point Pleasant Beach on the North Jersey Coast; Cinnaminson and Florence on the River Line Light Rail).

An example of a burgeoning Transit Village is Morristown on the M&E, with the newly-constructed Highlands at Morristown Station apartment building development.

Record Transit Aid for NJ in Senate Transportation Bill‏

This article was published in the Daily Record and summarized by one of our members. It is quoted here as a matter of interest, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Lackawanna Coalition.

New Jersey would get $519 million for public transit, under the federal highway bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday.  (There was no comparison number stating the current funding level in the article.)
Highway aid for NJ would decrease by 4.6% to $988 million; other states are also said to see decreases in highway funding.  The vote was said to be bipartisan (74–22), and this puts pressure on the House to adopt the bill instead of its own version, widely opposed, which would have removed transit aid from Highway Trust Fund sources.
Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) praised the bill.
The Senate bill would also restore the tax benefit for transit commuters, and raise it to $240/month from the previous $230.  After the previous law expired, the benefit dropped to $125.
NJ funding for transportation services for the elderly and handicapped would increase from $6.5 to $7.8 million.
A provision championed by Sen. Menendez is included to provide $20 million to communities to plan development around transit hubs (article is not clear, but this amount may be the nationwide total).
The original article was previously found at